ABOUT THE BOOK
‘Moving and beautifully written … explores the complex ties of family and friendship with insight and compassion.’ Tracey Emerson
Can you leave the past in another country?
Francesca Maier knows little of her father’s home country or her parents’ life together before she was born. A summer in Berlin brings the past – and its secrets – alive. Adrift in a foreign city, she finds an unexpected friend in east Berliner Antonio – but what will he sacrifice to save her?
Saving Francesca Maier probes the secrets every family hides and the decisions we make in a volatile world.
Amazon UK £8.99
I found this to be a compelling coming of age drama, as we see the story of the Summer that 14 year old Francesca goes to Germany with her family who stay with friends, and watch as the past catches up with them and as she tries to come to terms with the complexities of the behaviour of the adults around her, while she herself is dealing with growing up and having some independence for the first time.
You notice an under current with Francesca’s parents from the start – her mother, Imogen, seems set against spending a summer in Germany, while her father, Alex, is already over there and eager to share with his daughter more of his home country. They stay with their old friends, Anja and Richie, whose own lives has been touched by tragedy and they live a very different life to what Francesca has been used to so there’s a lot for her to adjust to.
She’s a very astute young girl in some ways, but naive in so many others and watching her trying to make sense of the way the grown ups in her life are acting is fascinating. The more they are wrapped up in their secrets and lies, the more she gets to discover for herself out and about in Berlin where she meets Antonio who doesn’t treat her like a child.
I loved seeing the different relationships that Francesca has with various characters – different characters bring out different sides to her and life is confusing enough for any 14 year old, but for her especially dealing with things in a different country while picking up on arguments between the adults is a trying time for her.
It’s a slow burner of a book that really comes into its’ own as you begin to understand more about each character and the secrets that they’ve been trying to hide from. It really explores the complexities of human behaviour and relationships and I really enjoyed spending time with these characters so am glad to hear there’ll be a book 2!!
My thanks to the Author for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.